Sub-regions in the North West LHIN: The Right Care, When and Where it’s Needed 

What is a LHIN sub-region? 

A LHIN sub-region is a smaller geographic planning region that will help Health Service Providers in the North West LHIN to better understand and address population health needs at the local level. 

In March 2012, the North West LHIN launched the Health Services Blueprint, a 10-year integration plan to strengthen and transform health care in Northwestern Ontario. The Blueprint is based on extensive evidence-based research, comprehensive community engagement, feedback from people who use the system, and from health service providers in the North West LHIN. Engagement to inform the Blueprint included 17 sessions in 12 communities involving 188 participants and 410 survey responses from people living in Northwestern Ontario. The Blueprint was developed by the people of the North West LHIN to meet the health care needs of the population in the North West LHIN. 

Through the work of the North West LHIN Health Services Blueprint, five Integrated District Networks (IDNs) were created to focus on providing equitable access to health care services for the residents within the district, improving health outcomes for the population and arranging for people to receive the level of care they need closer to home. The North West LHIN Health Links are also aligned to these same geographies. In December 2012, The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) launched integrated regional patient care networks called “Health Links,” placing primary care providers at the centre of the system to help remove barriers to care.  

The IDN and Health Link geographies are being formalized, and called “LHIN sub-regions” to align with terminology used across all other LHINs. The formalization of the North West LHIN sub-regions supports and acknowledges the significant progress that has been made over the past five years in advancing the IDNs through the Health Links initiative and the North West LHIN Health Services Blueprint – in collaboration with providers at all levels.  


Where are the LHIN sub-regions? 

There are five sub-regions in the North West LHIN: 

  • District of Kenora
  • District of Rainy River
  • District of Thunder Bay
  • City of Thunder Bay
  • Northern 

north west lhin sub-regions

Download North West LHIN Sub-region Map (PDF) 

(Map information layers may be toggled on and off in Adobe Acrobat Reader)


Note: the five LHIN sub-regions are the same geographies as the North West LHIN Integrated District Networks, envisioned through the North West LHIN Health Services Blueprint.  


How are LHIN sub-regions identified? 

North West LHIN sub-regions were established based on existing referral and access patterns to health care services. The LHIN sub-regions focus on population based health planning at the local level to improve health outcomes and better serve the people of Northwestern Ontario in the geographic area by ensuring that services reflect the unique needs of patients and communities. 

LHIN sub-regions have been in place informally in the North West LHIN for many years and they are now being formalized. The formalization of the North West LHIN sub-regions supports and acknowledges the significant progress that has been made over the past five years in advancing the Integrated District Networks through the Health Links initiative and the North West LHIN Health Services Blueprint. 

In formalizing the LHIN sub-regions, the North West LHIN used the best available evidence – including patient referral patterns and insights gleaned from local engagement with patients, providers and community members. 

Primary care providers, health care providers, patients, caregivers and their families will play a critical role in planning, priority setting and implementing improvement activities at the North West LHIN sub-region level to ensure the needs of patients and communities are being met. 


What is the purpose of LHIN sub-regions? 

By looking at care patterns through a smaller, more local lens, the North West LHIN will be able to better identify and respond to population health needs at the local level while improving access to care as close to home as possible. This includes the needs of Francophone Ontarians, Indigenous communities, newcomers and other individuals and groups within the North West LHIN whose health care needs are unique and who often experience challenges accessing and navigating the health care system. 

LHIN sub-regions are not an additional layer of bureaucracy. They will not be separate organizations or administrations, and will not have their own staff or boards. 

This approach will not restrict Ontarians as they make their health care decisions. 


Learn more about each LHIN sub-region: 


Questions? 

If you have any questions or comments, we welcome your feedback.


Karl Oczkowski
Corporate Communications and Community Engagement Consultant
Telephone: (807) 684-9425 Extension 2024
Email: karl.oczkowski@lhins.on.ca